Queens battles against sexual assault

Queens gets ready to participate in the NCHA for the third time. Jill Perry, assistant dean health and wellness services, hopes for a higher turn out from 2013. Karla Sanchez Garcia | The Queens Chronicle

Queens gets ready to participate in the NCHA for the third time. Jill Perry, assistant dean health and wellness services, hopes for a higher turn out from 2015.

Sexual assault, drug consumption, and other behaviors are an unfortunately common national phenomenon within colleges and universities, according to a national survey.

Queens students have now received a sexual assault report email twice in one academic year. One essential tool to fighting these issues is the American College Health assessment, a survey designed to collect hard data on student’s health habits, behaviors and perceptions.

In the most recent survey, which used data from 2015, 6.33 percent of Queens students in a sample of 426 respondents reported being victims of rape or attempted rape. For the same year, The Washington Post published study results from a sexual assault study conducted by the Association of American Universities. That study indicated that 24 percent of undergraduate women at UNCC, for example, had reported sexual assault.

“I think we are probably about average, if anything a little below average,” said Jill Perry, assistant dean of health and wellness services, when asked where she feels Queens falls with the sexual assault cases.

After obtaining the 2015 results in late March of the same year, teaching consent has been a priority at the university, Perry said. But just like many events, student participation varies. Many of the programs required as a co-curricular event have a large turnout, which helps spread awareness among more students. But other, voluntary programs see less participation.

An obstacle to obtaining data on sexual assault cases is that not all cases are reported to campus services, Perry said, and some victims opt to seek help outside of campus. Additionally, all services are kept confidential within health and wellness services. In some cases, victims wait months or a year before coming forward.

Perry encourages on-campus organizations, educational departments and student life to reach out for information and collaboration in an effort to educate students. Events like “Porn and chicken” or a simple lecture could make a great difference in the perception of students regarding sexual conduct among other things.

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Published by students of Queens University of Charlotte, 1900 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, N.C. 28274.